NAR Committee Applications for 2020 Now Open

Louisiana REALTORS encourages its members to participate in committees at the local, state, and national level. The committee application process for the National Association of REALTORS is now open and the deadline to submit is May 1, 2019.

Understanding the Duty to Notify of Obtain and Maintain

REALTORS® have contacted LR to inquire about how to find the necessary information to complete the sample addendum as it applies to the Obtain and Maintain Insurance requirement when their sellers do not know the amount of FEMA aid received by previous owners of the property.  In a State that sees flooding every year, and no region is safe from water intrusion,  it is no surprise this is a wide-spread concern.  A second addendum is being provided along with understanding the duty to notify.

Breaking News: Email Phishing Attempt with NAR

Email Phishing Attempt Reported

If you receive an email with the subject line “*Please Read** Important Updated & Changes to 2019 Member Roster”, be aware that it is not from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Member Survey: Tell Us About Important Issues

What are the important issues to you in state politics, your business, and your membership in Louisiana REALTORS®?  We want to know where you are on the issues of the day, what challenges you face with your business, and how can we better help you succeed as a REALTOR®.

Louisiana Associations Recognized for Excellence in Advocacy

Each year the National Association of REALTORS® awards the Triple Crown and the President’s Cup to the Associations around the country who dedicate time and effort to acheiving REALTOR® Party goals. Many local associations step up to the plate and make these goals happen and Louisiana is proud to recognize the efforts of many people to get us there!

2018 Award Nominations

Nominations are now open for Louisiana REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year & Lawrence R. DeMarcay, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. Nominees can be submitted and recipients will be recognized at a luncheon during the Spring Into Action Conference held in April. Both awards are aimed to showcase an individual who has volunteered their time in service of the real estate industry. Deadline to submit nomindations is March 1, 2019.

2020 LR Officer Candidate Application

2020 LR Officer Candidate Application

Candidate applications for 2020 Louisiana REALTORS Officers and Regional Vice Presidents is now available. Deadline to submit is March 1, 2019. 

Trial Court Decision Affecting Property Disclosure Document Reversed

By:  Patricia B. McMurray, JD
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
450 Laurel Street, Chase Tower North, 20th Floor
Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70801

Background

           In Valobra v. Nelson, the buyer sued the seller alleging the seller misrepresented the condition of the property by checking the "no" box on the Property Disclosure Document ("PDD") instead of the "no knowledge" box as to questions regarding the condition of the property.[1]  The buyers allege because of this misrepresentation by the sellers on the PDD, the buyers agreed to buy the property "as is" and waive redhibition rights in the Act of Sale. Redhibition is a warranty required by state law to be given to a buyer unless waived by the buyer.  Redhibition means the buyer can sue to return the property to the seller or get a refund of a portion of the purchase price after the sale if the buyer discovers a defect in the property that if the buyer had known about prior to the sale he would not have bought the property.[2]  The Valobra buyers alleged that the sellers checked the box marked "no" in response to questions on the PDD regarding whether the property had certain defects.  Defects in the property were later discovered.  The sellers then claimed they did not know of the defects in the property.[3]  The buyers argued that the sellers checking the box marked "no" instead of the box marked "no knowledge" on the PDD and therefore intentionally misled the buyers into believing that the sellers had knowledge that there were no defects in the property.  The buyers alleged the sellers were in bad faith and fraudulently induced the sellers to execute a waiver of redhibition contained in the Act of Sale by stating "no" instead of "no knowledge" of the defects.[4] 

24th Judicial District Court

           The trial court, the 24th Judicial District Court denied the motion for summary judgment filed by the Seller on March 25, 2018.  The Seller alleged in the motion that there appears to be no controversy over whether the Buyer was aware of the alleged "defects" at the time of execution of the waiver of redhibition included in the Act of Sale as the Seller and Buyer had agreed to a price concession to compensate the Buyer for the "defects" noted by the home inspection prior to sale.  The Seller filed a Writ to the Court of Appeal requesting the Court of Appeal revise the trial court's denial of the motion for summary judgment. 

         Louisiana REALTORS® filed an amicus brief in support of the Seller's Writ.  The Court of Appeal held that the


"Plaintiff's (Buyers) argument failed to recognize that the Property Disclosure required by the RPDA (property disclosure form) does not provide a guaranty that no defects exist in the property, but rather requires disclosures of known defects to the best of the seller's information, knowledge or belief.  La. R.S. 9:3198(D) specifically states a property disclosure document is not a warranty and is not part of any contract between the buyer and seller.  In addition, buyers, such as plaintiffs, cannot rely on the property disclosure document as a substitution for inspections.  Therefore, plaintiffs cannot use their alleged reliance on the Property Disclosure as an excuse for failing to obtain a comprehensive home inspection or failing to follow the advice of the inspectors to obtain more extensive inspections." (explanation supplied)

The Writ was granted by the Court of Appeal and the reversal of the denial of the motion for summary judgment was granted.  All claims against the Seller by the Buyers were dismissed.  A full copy of the Court of Appeal's Judgment can be found here.

Louisiana Supreme Court

           The Buyers filed an Application for Writ of Certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court on January 16, 2019 requesting a review of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal Judgment.  We will provide information on the outcome of the appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court when available.


[1]  Nancy Williams wife of/and Franco Valobra vs. Robert Allan Nelson and Jerome Garfield Smith, III as Co-Trustees of the Allan R. & Louise S. Nelson Revocable Trust & The Allan R. Nelson Marital Trust, Suit No. 720-048, 24th Judicial District Court for Jefferson Parish

[2]  La. Civil Code 2520

[3]  Id.

[4]  Id.

What Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS®

As of midnight on December 21, 2018, the President and Congress were unable to agree on the provisions of a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. As a result, a partial shutdown of some government operations has occurred. This partial shutdown includes some federal housing, mortgage and other programs of interest to the real estate industry. A summary of the impact on selected agencies is provided

How Flood Insurance is Impacting Transactions

Updated: 12/28,2018

On December 26, FEMA issued guidance instructing insurers not to sell or renew flood insurance policies during the partial government shutdown. Transactions involving a buyer who has not obtained required flood insurance will not be able to close until FEMA allows insurers to sell flood insurance policies. Those who obtained flood insurance on or after 12:00 a.m., December 22, 2018, may also not be able to proceed with their closings pending a determination by FEMA.


Obtain and Maintain Insurance Requirements

Louisiana REALTORS® published an article about “Obtain and Maintain Insurance Requirements” that applies to homeowners that receive federal disaster assistance. This is an important requirement for both REALTORS® and consumers to be aware of because failure to follow the provisions set forth may result in being ineligible for future disaster assistance as well as the requirement to repay disaster relief funds recieved. REALTORS® are encouraged to use a Flood Insurance Purchase Requirement Addendum when the transaction includes a property that is subject to the “obtain and maintain” requirements.

REALTOR Party and 2019 Federal Policy Priorities

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to protect and promote homeownership and property investment. Last week at the REALTOR® Party Training Conference, NAR outlined the top policy priorities for the organization in 2019 and trained Association leaders and REALTOR® volunteers on ideas on how to get members involved.

NFIP Extended A Week to Prevent Lapse

Congress pushed back its deadline to deal with the National Flood Insurance Program by at least a week, passing yet another short-term extension of the program late Thursday.

A deadline to avoid a lapse in the federal program, which underwrites most flood insurance coverage in the country and covers a half-million Louisiana homes, had been looming at midnight on Friday. The short-term deal is the eighth temporary extension for the program since it first came up for periodic renewal more than a year ago.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Increase Loan Limits

The maximum conforming loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can back will increase to $484,350 from $453,100 in 2019, a 6.9 percent increase, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced today. 

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Component Parts: What's Included with the House or Building?

Buyers are often impressed by a property's features such as solar panels or a large porch.  The house or building may also have beautiful light fixtures, commercial appliances or an outdoor kitchen with a grill.  Which items the Seller is intending to sell and which items the Buyer is intending to purchase with the property is often a source of dispute and has led to litigation post-closing between Buyers and Sellers.  Component parts of a house or building are transferred with the property.  But what are the component parts of a house or building? 

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Listen Here: Changes to Residential Agreement to Buy/Sell

The process for making changes and updates to the Residential Agreement to Buy/Sell is a joint effort between Louisiana REALTORS and the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. As 2019 approaches, real estate licensees and practitioners will see some changes and updates to the form that resulted from over 200 comments and ideas sent to the workgroup for deliberation.